About a year ago I asked a question which did produce very little feedback; today I've noticed that a specialist in the field recently joined MO. I think it would make sense to somehow ask this user to have a look at the question.

Is there a "MO way" to do it? Is there any common opinion on MO about such kind of behavior?

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    $\begingroup$ I don't think there is a proper MO way to do this -- but if you know the user's email address, you can send them an email. $\endgroup$
    – Stefan Kohl Mod
    Sep 6, 2015 at 8:46
  • $\begingroup$ You could bump the question in an attempt to draw more attention, maybe from that particular user. $\endgroup$ Sep 6, 2015 at 14:36

1 Answer 1


Short answer: No.

If you come to think of it, you might be pleased to have people consult you on problems, but not so pleased to have other people ask you to read stuff. MathOverflow has enough curious people on it who like to choose what they read without hints from others they may have just met.

Long answer: There are ways. Primarily though, it is about building a relationship. If you establish a history of being interested in a person's work (and well-being, including giving them personal space), then you might ask if that person would look at something of yours or of someone else's. However, the primary function of MathOverflow is to build a database for use by the community, not just for a set cadre of experts.

So use MathOverflow to craft relationships as well as make yourself attractive (in an intellectual sense) by posting your material and crafting it so that it is beneficial for the non-expert as well as the expert. The expert might come to you wanting to know your thoughts!

Gerhard "Sometimes Loved For My Phrases" Paseman, 2015.09.06

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    $\begingroup$ There is nothing prohibiting you from editing your user page. If you place a wish list calling for experts in such-and-such field to consider problem linked here, this when confined to your user is to me an acceptable form of advertising and soliciting on MathOverflow. Gerhard "There Is Also Casual Conversation" Paseman, 2015.09.06 $\endgroup$ Sep 6, 2015 at 16:21
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    $\begingroup$ I know the guy actually and there is no problem to email him about it, I was just wondering whether this is a typical situation on MO and what people usually do about it $\endgroup$ Sep 6, 2015 at 16:57
  • $\begingroup$ @მამუკაჯიბლაძე , Then you should use your judgment of the relationship with this person. While there is a social component on MathOverflow, it is a Q and A site more than a social networking site. I recommend using email, as such requests are better made privately than publicly. You can try a chat room, but unless you have the right mojo, the chat transcript is also public. Gerhard "So Go Get A Room" Paseman, 2015.09.09 $\endgroup$ Sep 9, 2015 at 17:38
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    $\begingroup$ @მამუკაჯიბლაძე, it is a mixed bag. Some people dislike being pinged on MO or MSE so I have gotten a bit careful about that, partly because the pinging can only be done as an addressed response to some unrelated comment or other post of theirs. If you have an existing question and email a summary of the question and the MO link, you may get either a brief answer by email, but at least a few people have answered me on MO and not replied to the email. And, as always, you may get a response that is well-intentioned but just not enough... $\endgroup$
    – Will Jagy
    Sep 10, 2015 at 20:04

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